The Canadian Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said “When mankind is confronted with making a change or proving why they shouldn’t change…. why do people get busy with the proof?” The common excuse for resisting change is the same everywhere – fear. A lot of fears – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear that others will be better than we are, a bunch of fears – to the point there is another interesting question to pose to yourselves “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” That is the more interesting question.
In our Unit I management training we deal with change and paradigms and I try and get people to understand that resistance to change is both natural and normal. Most of us are settlers not pioneers. The pioneer is the risk taker. They blaze the trail for the settlers. When the pioneer is finished with their explorations the settler will ask “is it safe out there?” Then if the answer is yes off they will go to the new lands. But the options available for the settlers are limited because the pioneer had the first choice.
I submit to you that your customers want you to be leading not following. They want you to lead the changes. And in this world in which we live change has become a fact of life. Change comes in waves it is not incremental. If you don’t get in on the initial waves you want to hope that you can enter later without a large loss. That is an interesting word – hope. Put with the subject of change it is really interesting. How has that worked for you so far? Not all change is good. So you have to be pretty discerning don’t you. You have to be able to evaluate the situation, consider the options and then make a decision. It doesn’t get easier over time. It might in fact lead you to missing out on chances. How do you view change? The time is now.